EDITOR’S NOTE: The Watertown Daily Times can’t bring sports back, but we can give you an opportunity to speak about what they meant to you. This December, we’ll be running the Senior Athlete Yearbook through the end of the year, a project that will highlight north country senior athletes from the class of 2020 and 2021.

Veronica Neff, Carthage Central

Veronica Neff, Carthage Central School Class of 2021

Sport Volleyball

What is the greatest lesson high school athletics has taught you?

“Athletics have taught me success does not build character but failure does. Accepting defeat is inevitable, but you learn to adjust and move forward. It has given me opportunities to meet and work with people I would have never met. It has given me time with my family driving to and from practices, games or volunteering in the concession stand. It has taught me time is precious and some times there is no next time. The last two years we have lost in the sectional championship and I was hoping for one more shot. Thank you to my parents, siblings, coaches and Comet fans.”

Maria Netto, Watertown High School

Maria Netto, Watertown High School Class of 2021

Sport: Tennis, Volleyball and Lacrosse

What is the greatest lesson high school athletics has taught you?

“High school athletics has taught me to turn failure into motivation. As a tennis rookie, I did not allow defeat to discourage me, rather I used it to push myself. I improved my skills, built endurance, and began winning matches. In volleyball, I expect myself to take responsibility for every mistake on the court. Originally, I was not quick enough and had inconsistent sets. This pushed me to improve and further contribute to our team’s success. As a freshman, I was moved up to varsity lacrosse as a goalie. After initial losses, I felt I had let my coaches and teammates down. I started to prepare out of practice by doing drills that improved my reactions and accuracy. Embracing failure not only helps me in athletics, but also in broader aspects of my life and I have my coaches, teammates, opponents, and parents to thank for encouraging me to succeed.”

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